Another study finds dietary supplement retailers give poor advice

Posted 03 November 2016

Consumer Reports has published a list of 15 supplement and herbal ingredients that consumers should always avoid: aconite, caffeine powder, chaparral, coltsfoot, comfrey, germander, greater celandine, green tea extract powder, kava, lobelia, methylsynephrine, pennyroyal oil, red yeast rice, usnic acid, and yohimbe.

Reference: 15 supplements ingredients to always avoid. Consumer Reports Web site July 27, 2016

The magazine also sent sent 43 secret shoppers to Costco, CVS, GNC, Walgreens, Whole Foods, and the Vitamin Shoppe—60 stores in 17 states—where they asked employees (mostly sales staff but also some pharmacists) about products containing several of the ingredients. Most of the employees didn’t warn the shoppers about the risks or ask about pre-existing conditions or medications they might be taking, and many gave information that was either misleading or flat-out wrong.

Reference: Supplements can make you sick. Consumer Reports Web site, July 27, 2016

Quackwatch has summarized more than 20 published studies which found that dietary supplement retailers gave improper advice about products.

Source: Consumer Health Digest #16-40, October 30, 2016

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